Read on for user guidance on Zoom and Google Meet (the two videoconferencing platforms Champlain recommends), or if you’ve already decided what platform to use, jump to our advice on preparing to use videoconferencing for virtual live/synchronous class sessions here, or our video on getting ready for each class meeting at the bottom of this page.
Guides to Zoom and Google Meet
Here’s an excellent Zoom tutorial, including how to run breakout groups in your session:
The CLT also provides guidance on using Zoom with other tools provided by Champlain:
- Getting started with Zoom at Champlain
- Creating recurring Zoom meeting invites in students’ Champlain Google Calendars
- Making recorded Zoom sessions available in Panopto and Canvas
- Enhancing your sessions using Zoom’s chat feature (guide by Betsy Allen-Pennebaker)
Check out these resources:
- The CLT’s tutorial on running a remote session in Meet
- Google has excellent resources for learning to use Meet, which you can find here.
Advice for Getting Started
If you are relatively new to using Zoom or Meet for teaching, it’s a good idea to practice ahead of time. Here are some tips.
Make an Informed Decision about which Platform You’ll Use
Zoom allows you to:
- use breakout groups
- have students raise their hands or answer yes and no questions easily
- message individuals privately in the chat function
Meet allows you to:
- easily create recurring meetings directly from Google Calendar (streamlining the process of inviting your students)
- use the service without having a separate account
- opt into automatic real-time captions (students can choose this individually)
- in the relatively near future, Meet will add new features like Jamboard integration, breakout rooms, polling, etc., but these features are not yet available
Both platforms work well with Panopto. Both have mobile device apps for iOS and Android.
Seek Training Resources in Advance
Please peruse resources created by Google Meet, Zoom, and Panopto before you start. Please also watch the recorded webinars made by Champlain faculty and staff, and attend live trainings as available. These resources are very helpful, and we appreciate you using them before seeking help from ChampSupport.
Practice Every Platform You Plan to Use, and Don’t Spend Time on Others
- Make a decision soon about what platform you will use to teach
- Experiment with that one extensively, using the tips below
- While it’s good to at least peek into other platforms if you haven’t already, don’t spend too much time on them. For example, if you plan to use Zoom and you’ve never set up a Meet, it’s a good idea to do that once or bookmark Google’s instructions in case there is a Zoom outage. But don’t spend a lot of time on it.
Practice with a Group
Group practice is especially important if you are planning to use Zoom and you’re new to it, or you got limited experience with Meet in the spring.
- Get together a group of colleagues and/or family members and practice starting a call, sharing your screen, creating and managing breakout groups (Zoom), and, if you are working with fellow faculty, switch hosts so everyone can practice leadership
- If you are planning to use multiple cameras, experiment with that with your audience
- If you are planning to teach on campus and you are able to get access to a room, practice a call with your group from the classroom
Practice with Every Device You Might Use
If you think you might use a mobile device for labs or outdoor classes, or you might improvise a doc cam with your phone, practice those in advance (you can find guidance on using a doc cam or an improvised phone “doc cam” with Zoom in this article and this video). Practice joining the call from multiple devices at the same time.
Practice in Advance
Explore training resources and experiment with the basics before classes start. If you are planning to incorporate more complicated or advanced features later, practice those at least a week in advance of using them in class so you have time to seek peer help, tech support from the technology provider, or assistance from ChampSupport in advance. Please be aware that ChampSupport and the CLT may have support backlogs at the beginning of the fall semester.
Getting Ready for Class Each Day
Check out our new video “checklist” for preparing to run a videoconference class!